When preparing a cut garden, there are several things to keep in mind. First, determine the growing conditions for each flower you’ll be using. Once you have these specifics, group your plants together based on similar needs. This will help you meet their needs and avoid over or under-watering them. For best results, plant plants with similar water requirements together in the same section of your garden. Also, remember to keep the flowers well-watered.
If you’re looking for a perennial that’s both beautiful and hardy, consider coneflowers for your cut garden. They tolerate drought and heat but prefer average moisture. While they are drought-tolerant, they do require weekly watering. You can also deadhead to prolong blooming, prevent self-seeding, and discourage bird feeding. To make your coneflowers more compact, cut the growth back about 1 foot after flowering.
The best time to plant coneflowers for the cut garden is in late spring or early summer. These flowering perennials are ideal for meadows, woodlands, and beds, and they bloom from late summer to frost. Their cones are ornamental when dried. They will survive in most soil types as long as it gets enough sunlight and water. If you’re in a salty climate, plant Echinacea in a container.
The native coneflower can grow as high as 5 feet tall, while hybrid varieties stay smaller and stay within a couple of feet. You’ll recognize a coneflower by its rough textured dark green leaves, long petals, and protruding cone. Coneflower flowers bloom from late spring through mid summer. Deadheading will prolong flowering and prevent seed production, but it can also reduce seed production and attract birds.
You can also cultivate a variety of coneflowers for the cut garden. The most common ones are Echinacea ‘Julia’ and Echinacea ‘Double Scoop Cranberry’. The Echinacea ‘Julia’ cultivar has small orange flowers that grow 15-18 inches tall and are hardy in Texas zones six through nine. These flowers grow in full sun and have a pompom-like shape. Echinacea ‘Julia’ and ‘Double Scoop Cranberry’ are both attractive and eye-catching.
When planting dahlias for your cut garden, make sure they are planted in a sunny, well-drained spot. Tall varieties will look stunning in a mixed border, while shorter varieties will make attractive additions to a patio container. Dahlias are tubers, so you will want to grow them in a bright and frost-free area. However, you can plant dahlias indoors too if you have a greenhouse or an air-conditioned room.
Before choosing your dahlias, it’s important to narrow down the colors that you’d like. This will facilitate your creativity when arranging your flowers. Colors like red and orange will replicate late summer and fall. Colors such as burgundy and purple add drama to arrangements and help to unify warm and cool hues. Dahlias are not only beautiful, but also easy to grow.
Cut your dahlias early in the morning when they’re still dewy or late in the afternoon, when bees have finished foraging. Depending on your climate, tall varieties might need staking. In any case, they’ll need regular watering and feeding with a liquid fertilizer every two weeks. Dahlias need regular deadheading. You can save some blooms for cutting next year by snipping them back to the ground. If you don’t need the flowers for a cut, simply lift the tuber before the first frost. Store the tubers in a cool place until they bloom again in the spring.
While Dahlias for the cut garden aren’t particularly hardy, they can be grown from seed. You can buy seeds or tubers, but the risk of a failed crop is higher with seed. Growing dahlias from seed is a fun and adventurous way to grow your own dahlias, but be prepared to take risks. If you’re not patient enough, you could end up with a plant that has single petals.
To grow sweet peas in your cut garden, start by ensuring the soil is cool and moist. Sweet peas can tolerate temperatures as low as the low 20s, and they don’t mind being planted in a row cover that floats in the spring and summer. However, if you live in an area with strong winds, a row cover may not be enough to protect your sweet peas from the cold. In these cases, you can use a structure, straw bales, or a cloche to protect your sweet peas from the cold.
To make the sweet peas last longer, they should be planted in deep container pots with a climbing frame or trellis. When starting seeds, make sure the soil is evenly moist and well-drained. If you have an acidic soil, make sure you sprinkle some lime on the soil before planting sweet pea seeds. Adding lime will improve the soil’s pH, and will help your sweet peas bloom longer and have a better vase life.
To grow sweet peas for the cut garden, sow seeds between October and April. When seedlings start to grow, thin the plants to approximately 5 to 6 inches apart or 12.5-25″, or about 15.2 cm apart. Once the seeds germinate, pinch the growing tip, which forces the plant’s hormone auxins to move to the auxiliary tips and grow new growth. You can also grow them in a greenhouse or a heated propagator during the mid-winter months.
When planting a carnation plant, be sure to water thoroughly to avoid stressing the plant. Never cut off too much at a time, as this will cause fungal leaf spots to develop. When cutting back carnations, cut off dead blooms about a half-inch above the lateral bud. Pruning should be done at least once per year, once in the spring and once in the summer. Once the growing season is over, prune the plant more heavily.
You can easily make carnation plants by starting seedlings indoors. Using sterilized shears, cut the stems at the nodal area, then place them in a shallow container of coarse sand. Push them down into the sand, about 1/3 to half way into the stem. Place the container in indirect sunlight and water daily. You can also mulch the container to keep the carnation sand moist.
Carnations are popular cut flowers. They are highly fragrant and bloom in cool summer temperatures. Most carnations grow eight to 18 inches in diameter and prefer an organically rich soil. Remember to deadhead spent carnation blossoms to encourage further bloom. A thriving carnation plant will reward you with multiple blooms throughout the season. These flowers are worth the effort! Just remember to take care of them and you will be rewarded with beautiful blooms for many years to come.
Anise hyssopp is a beautiful perennial flower, and its fragrant, sweet fragrance is perfect for your cut garden. However, this plant has a few disadvantages. In poor soil, it is susceptible to crown/root rot, leaf spots, and powdery mildew. But, once it has a good drainage system, it is usually pest-free.
This aromatic plant, native to the Mediterranean, blooms in the summer and early fall. Anise hyssop is a favorite hangout of bees and other pollinators. Native and honey bees particularly appreciate the scent of the anise hyssop flower. Its long spike and two lips make it a favorite of gardeners.
The stems of this plant mature at three to four feet. They form two to three-foot-wide clumps. If you’re looking to add anise hyssop to your cut garden, you can buy it from nurseries. You can plant it directly in the garden, or buy seedlings in containers. Outdoor plants need more water than their garden counterparts, so make sure to check the soil moisture level regularly.
Anise hyssopp plants are easy to grow from seed. You can also divide them by digging around the drip line of the plant. If you are planning to transplant them to another location, it is best to do so as soon as they sprout. Seedlings can be transplanted when they are two to three inches tall. Make sure to plant them in a sunny area with six hours of sunlight each day.
When you want to add bee balm flowers to your cut garden, you need to make sure you have the right plants. Bee balm is one of the few plants that is known to bloom all year long. The flowers are beautiful and can be used for a variety of purposes. Bee balm flowers can be added to herbal teas and potpourri. They are also great for soaking in the bathtub. If you prefer, you can make bee balm jelly.
The variety you choose should be a vigorous plant as the plants will outcompete their less aggressive neighbors if planted in a small garden. Bee balms spread by rhizomes, underground stems. Luckily, bee balms are easy to divide or split to get new plants. They will not overtake your garden, and they are not a problem for rabbits. A few of the best bee balm cultivars are listed below.
Sow bee balm seeds indoors in early spring, about eight to ten weeks before the last spring frost. Seedlings should be planted in moist seed starting mix, and the soil should be at a temperature of 60 to 70 degrees. Afterward, you can move them to a bright window or place them in pots. Once they have two sets of true leaves, thin them to space them evenly.